One in ten. It's the name of the group that puts on the Reel Affirmations gay and lesbian film festival in Washington, D.C., each year. It's the percent popularized by the Kinsey Report as the size of the gay male population. And it's among the most common figures pointed to in popular culture as an estimate of how many people are gay or lesbian.
But what percentage of the population is actually gay or lesbian? With the debate over same-sex marriage again an emerging fault line in American political life, the answer comes as a surprise: A lower number than you might think -- and a much, much, much lower one than most Americans believe.